C 3002
Issue 3, 28.10.58

Initial Decoration

1. General
The standard colour for the Kiosk No. 6 is Post Office Red. In certain exceptional cases mentioned in par. 9 an alternative colour scheme may be authorized.

2. Process to be followed

(a) Priming
All parts of the kiosk are primed by the manufacturer before acceptance, but this coating is liable to become damaged during transit and erection. it is, therefore, necessary to proceed as follows:-

(i) Remove all traces of rust with a wire scratch brush and then remove all dust with a sash brush.

(ii) Stop all cracks and crevices with putty.

(iii) Apply one coat of Paint, Kiosk, Primer to all surfaces except the inside of the dome [see v].

(iv) Give a second coat of primer to that part of the inside which will be covered by the wallboard, etc., and to any parts which on subsequent redecoration will be difficult. to clean down thoroughly, e.g. any part to which access will be difficult because of nearby buildings.

(v) On the inside surface of the dome apply one coat of Paint, Zinc.

(b) Painting
Following priming, two coats of Paint, P.O. Red should be applied and, finally, one coat of Varnish, Weatherproof. Any part of the kiosk which cannot be painted at all after erection should receive, before erection, one coat of Paint, Lead Colour over the priming but no red paint or varnish.

The underside of the roof, after priming; should be painted down, to the level of the ventilator openings with two coats of Enamel, White, Undercoat and, finally, one coat of Enamel, White, Finish.

3. The internal fittings
The time-switch, cut-out and door closing spring should be included in the painting but care should be taken not to obliterate identification labels on them. The door-restraining straps and door handle should not be painted and care should be taken to avoid smearing them, or the door closing spring bearings, with paint. On completion, all paint splashes should be cleaned from glass surfaces.

4. Paint
The approximate quantities of paint which will be required for one kiosk are:-

Paint, Kiosk Primer 1.5 pints
Paint, P.O. Red 3.5 Pints
Varnish, Weatherproof  2.5 Pints
Enamel, White, Undercoat 0.5 Pints
Enamel, White, Finish 1/4 Pint
Paint, Zinc 1/4 Pint
Thinners for Paint, Zinc 1/8 Pint

5. Brushes, Paint, Flat, 1 in., 2 in., 3 in. and 4 in. should be used as required. A Brush, Wire, Scratch and a Brush, Sash Tool will also be needed.

6. Every effort should be made to prevent the public from coming into contact with wet paint. Guards should be provided and ”Wet Paint” notices (see A 3008) should be fixed in conspicuous positions on the interior of the windows of the kiosk door and sides.

7. Painting by contract
The initial painting of a kiosk may be done by contract If this is found to be more convenient and economical than by the Department’s engineering staff. The work should then be done in accordance with Specn. T 543, copies of which can be obtained from the Supplies Dept.

8. Spray painting
Spray painting methods should not be used by contractors and should not normally be used by the Department’s own staff.

9. Departure from standard colour scheme
It has been decided after consultation with the Ministry of Town & Country Planning, Royal Fine Arts Commission and the Councils for the Preservation of Rural England and Wales that the standard colour of telephone kiosks shall be “Post Office Red”, but that in places of exceptional natural or architectural beauty an alternative colour may be used, viz, dark battleship~ grey with the glazing bars “picked out” in red. A similar arrangement applies to Scotland and Northern Ireland. The. R.D. may authorize the use of this alternative colour if he considers it warranted and will consult the appropriate authorities in disputed cases (Tp.S.I. G3 V refers). The P.M. (Sales Divn.) will deal with all requests for the alternative colour and any objections to the standard red colour. Any applications or correspondence on this subject which may be received in the first place by the Eng. Divn. should be referred to the Sales Divn. It may be necessary to suspend the painting until the question is settled, but care should be taken to ensure that the structure is protected from rust and the standard treatment should proceed as far as the stopping and priming.

10. The procedure for painting in grey will be similar to that for P.O. Red but the paint used for the outside of the kiosk should be:-

Paint, Kiosk, Primer one coat on body, of kiosk
Paint,, Flat, Dark Grey two coats except on glazing frames and bars
Paint, P.O. Red two coats on glazing frames and bars
Varnish, Weatherproof one coat overall

The inside of the kiosk including glazing bars and frames should be painted, after priming, with ‘two coats of Paint, Flat, Dark Grey and one coat of Varnish, Weatherproof except for the underside of the roof which should be painted white, as described in par. 2. The internal fittings, referred to in par. 3, should be painted grey when the kiosk is re-painted but may be left with their standard red colour when first fitted. The quantities of paint required for one kiosk are:-

Paint, Kiosk Primer 1.5 Pints
Paint, P.O. Red 0.5 Pints
Paint, Flat, Dark Grey 3 Pints
Varnish, Weatherproof  2.5 Pints
Enamel, White, Undercoat 0.5 Pints
Enamel, White, Finish 1/4 Pint
Paint, Zinc 1/4 Pint
Thinners for Paint, Zinc 1/8 Pint

To avoid difficulties, it may be found desirable to exclude from contract work kiosks which are to be painted in the special colour.

Paint Information

Kiosk Paint Colours
People restoring apparatus may find this list useful.

Light Battleship Grey. Equivalent to BS 631 Light Grey.  Used on earlier automatic telephone equipment.

Light Straw BSS 381 C shade no. 384.  Used on later automatic telephone equipment. The touch-up and aerosol spray paints 'Honeysuckle' for Triumph cars (from car accessory shops) is an exact match and is used industrially for this purpose.

'Kiosk Red'.  For many years Post Office vehicles (and kiosks and other red-painted hardware) were painted in the shade referred to as BSS 381C 538 Post Office Red, but from late 1968 or early 1969 a brighter shade BSS 381C 539 Postal Service Red was used for new vehicles and on repaints, in an effort to brighten the image.

Sources of supply
BSS (British Standards shade) 381C colours are still current and specialist automotive paint suppliers will be happy to make aerosol spray cans or mix tins of brushing cellulose or synthetic enamel on request.  Remember to state whether you need a gloss or satin finish.  For your nearest supplier look in Yellow Pages under the keyword 'Motor Factors'.

Police Pillar Paint Colours
These are blue in colour and therefore not a good colour to work with.  Automotive brush on paint seems to disintegrate quite quickly.

As long as there is a good, well primed base coat, some people have found that standard gloss paint mixed to the right colour is good enough for the job.

This can be obtained from any mixing centre and take a sample with you to ensure the correct colour.


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Last revised: February 10, 2021